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ERIC Number: ED152669
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Mar
Pages: 73
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Controlling the Schools: An Essay on the Bureaucratization of School Supervision in the Late Nineteenth Century.
Glanz, Jeffrey
Focusing on factors which shaped and influenced public school supervision, the paper investigates educational developments in the late 19th century. During this period the movement toward centralization in urban public schools gained considerable momentum. Educational historians have largely ignored the role school superintendents played in the movement. The essay hypothesizes that superintendents contributed significantly to centralization, often based their activities more on school control than on educational improvement, and inculcated bureaucratic values and concepts in the school system as a means of legitimizing their control. Although the 19th century was characterized by rapid economic growth, it also exhibited inadequate school facilities, pupil absenteeism, pupil illiteracy, teacher incompetence, and control of boards of education by unscrupulous politicians. Prior to reform movements in the 1890s, superintendents possessed almost no legal or decision-making authority. Reformers stressed deplorable urban school conditions and recommended that education be more scientific, professional, and humane. Maintaining that these changes could more easily be implemented in a centralized system, the reformers provided a rationale for a powerful and professional superintendency, which soon became dominated by the typical bureaucratic and autocratic tendencies of 19th century urban settings. The conclusion is that supervision was extremely important in preserving bureaucratic role relationships within 19th century public schools and that modern educators should reassess the bureaucratic framework of schooling. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Toronto, Ontario, March 27-31, 1978)